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Comments

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Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

Spy Handler Re:Recent claims by whom? (176 comments)

What the tree huggers will find even more horrifying than chimp warfare is how lions kill baby lions.

True story. When the alpha male of a lion pride is challenged by another male lion and loses, the new lion takes over the pride. This happens inevitably as the the former alpha lion ages. Now the new head lion will often KILL all the lion cubs in the pride. Not because he's hungry, but because he doesn't like the fact that the baby lions are not his.

10 hours ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

Spy Handler Re:Maybe we if stopped giving Africa food (286 comments)

West, just by the fact of existing, messed up Africa.

Before white men's ships arrived, Africans were living in their tribal villages leading simple agricultural or hunter/gatherer lives. Just as people all over the world have been doing for ten thousand years. It was no paradise, but they had a balance with natural forces where the population wouldn't grow faster than the food supply.

Then comes the white man with his antibiotics and high-yielding maize (which he got from the New World Indians, but that's another story). Suddenly infant mortality went down and crop yields went up and population could grow like crazy. But Africans never developed the institutions and social structures necessary to support a densely populated society that the Europeans and East Asians did. African nations today still run pretty much like they did thousands of years ago, local warlords taking power. Except now it's millions of people instead of a few villages.

Africans would've been infinitely better off left completely to their own devices. Would they still be living in stone age primitive societies? Yes. Would it be preferable to what they have now? Yes.

yesterday
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An Open Source Pitfall? Mozilla Labs Closed, Quietly

Spy Handler Re:Why is that an Open Source pitfall? (105 comments)

I thought they were talking about Pitfall the game where your block-shaped character jumps over crocodiles. Open source version? Yes please.

yesterday
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NASA's Manned Rocket Contract: $4.2 Billion To Boeing, $2.6 Billion To SpaceX

Spy Handler Re:Could have been worse (184 comments)

It's not a matter of whether Boeing deserves the extra cash or not. Deserve has nothing to do with it.

Boeing simply cannot (and will not) do it for less than the $4.2 billion, otherwise they'd be losing money. But SpaceX can do the same job for less, at $2.6 billion. So you could say SpaceX is much more efficient than Boeing.

So why didn't NASA just give the whole thing to SpaceX and save money? Redundancy, hedging your bets, not putting all your eggs in one basket, etc.

2 days ago
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The Growing Illusion of Single Player Gaming

Spy Handler Re:Never been a fan of multiplayer. (291 comments)

Multiplayer can be and often is what you describe. But it depends on the community.

Some of the best online gaming experiences can be found on private servers (for those games that have them). Since anyone with moderate knowledge and resources can run a private server, there are many of them. A server's community tends to reflect the values of the owner, so just browse GTOP100 or other similar sites and look for well-policed friendly ones.

Most private servers have a very high GM to player ratio compared to official servers. On a friendly private server, the 8-year-old you describe that tells people he fucked their mother in the ass will get banned before his first day is over. It will have clear Terms of Use that outlines what is acceptable behavior and what's not, and how to report abuse to GM. The good ones actually care about your gaming experience and will take griefing seriously.

Also look for one with an active forum. Since the PS community tends to be small, you'll get to know most of the active players after a while. Browsing the forum will give you the flavor of the community.

3 days ago
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Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

Spy Handler Re:What bullshit (190 comments)

Clearly you've never heard of Star Trek.

3 days ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

Spy Handler Re:It's getting hotter still! (607 comments)

That's a good attitude to take. Even though I am on the other side of the AGW debate, I'll agree with you there.

Small change I might suggest is that some of the beachfront homes in Malibu are getting hammered now due to erosion (nothing to do with sea levels or AGW, just plain beach erosion). So let's just say a coastal city such as LA or New York. I'll stay in NYC, you move inland.

3 days ago
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Chinese City Sets Up "No Cell Phone" Pedestrian Lanes

Spy Handler How about a smartphone car lane (46 comments)

let all the texting/tweeting drivers go into a special lane just for them.

Build concrete dividers between that and regular lanes. With titanium reinforcements.

3 days ago
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Congress Can't Make Asteroid Mining Legal (But It's Trying, Anyway)

Spy Handler As a private citizen (213 comments)

I am not bound by treaty. I am bound only by the laws of my country.

If Congress says I can keep the gold I just mined off Ceres, it's mine. Would the Russian government come after me for their share? Good luck to them.

about a week ago
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Massive Study Searching For Genes Behind Intelligence Finds Little

Spy Handler Re:Great news (269 comments)

maybe some groups have a genetic limitation to the likely of above average intelligence.

There is no maybe, every study that has ever looked into this since the dawn of science has confirmed this. Hell you don't even have to ask science, every average Joe on the street knows this already from life experience.

It's just in the last ~20 years that political correctness mass hysteria has gripped academia and the media to where it's become a thoughtcrime to think any other thought than that all races are exactly equal in every aspect except maybe skin melanin level.

And it's just the United States and a couple of other Western European countries afflicted with this weirdness. If you were to go to, say, Japan or Russia and say to a scientist, "Some races have higher genetic disposition for intelligence than others", he will most likely shrug and say "Yeah, so what?"

But just in case you're young and everything you've ever read has been sanitized by the Academic Department of Purethought: the highest average IQ of any human race/group belongs to Ashkenazi Jews.

about a week ago
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When Scientists Give Up

Spy Handler Re:Easy solution (348 comments)

The amount of money that Exxon spends -- actually the amount of money that the entire oil industry spends on climate research -- is dwarfed by government funding. By an order of magnitude. These are easily obtained figures, just look them up.

If you are a climate researcher and you need funding for your project or lab (or your very existence), what's the logical place to turn to? Answer: where the money is... the gov't.

Assuming that oil companies fund studies that disprove man-made global warming and governments fund studies that prove it, you would expect to see a 10-to-1 ratio in the number of studies published for AGW versus against. And that's pretty much what you see out there.

about a week ago
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How Scientific Consensus Has Gotten a Bad Reputation

Spy Handler Re:Science creates understanding of a real world. (770 comments)

The problem is you're not in a position to be able to evaluate the evidence - climate science is difficult and specialised.

Yes, only the priests at the Holy Temple of Algore are allowed to evaluate climate evidence.

about two weeks ago
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Does Learning To Code Outweigh a Degree In Computer Science?

Spy Handler They should make a Programming degree (546 comments)

Let the really smart kids (IQ > 130) take traditional CS. They can deal with the theory and advanced math.

The kinda bright kids (IQ 100 - 120ish) can take Computer Programming where they learn to code in the real world. Teach some business-y stuff too while they're at it. Only math required would be high school algebra and geometry. Maybe some trig but that's it.

about two weeks ago
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Out of the Warehouse: Climate Researchers Rescue Long-Lost Satellite Images

Spy Handler Make sure they keep the originals (136 comments)

As anyone who has done VR panorama stitching can tell you, software can only do so much. The output will have some issues, like things not lining up quite correctly or colors being off in one section, etc. So you have do some Photoshop work to make it look good.

Kind of like the raw data vs. adjusted data issue. If they show you the massaged data to back up a claim, but then say they accidentally lost the raw data (or outright refuse to release it, as in some cases)... well then you know they're no longer in the realm of science but a religious crusade.

about two weeks ago
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Microsoft Dumps 1,500 Apps From Its Windows Store

Spy Handler Re:Google needs to clean up search (126 comments)

2) GPL allows you to repackage software, but not under the same trademark. You can do whatever with the code, but cannot distribute it as Firefox if it's not coming from Mozilla. E.g. Debian had to rename their Firefox branch as IceWeasel

Question: can I repackage Firefox binaries and distribute it along with my other files? I made a php application and wanna make it a turnkey WAMP stack. It will be called "MyCool PHP App" and the word Firefox won't appear anywhere.

about three weeks ago
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Eye Problems From Space Affect At Least 21 NASA Astronauts

Spy Handler Re:What can be done about this? (109 comments)

aside from artificial gravity, nothing. No amount of exercise bike pedaling will save your optic nerves from being in zero G too long.

There isn't really any good reason to put people in orbit for 6 months+. Rotate them out every couple of months. Yes we needed data on long-term microgravity effects on the human body. We have them now, zero G does bad things to your body. So don't do it for extended periods.

Fly in the ointment is the expected trip to Mars, which will take 9 months to a year. Fortunately people like Zubrin have developed advanced technologies to deal with this. It's called a rope. Attach the Mars spacecraft to a ballast via a rope (they call it tether) and spin it until you get 1/3rd G. Problem solved.

about three weeks ago
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How Red Hat Can Recapture Developer Interest

Spy Handler Re:All of these are supported by Red Hat (232 comments)

Actually the newest version of RHEL comes with MariaDB 5.5 as default, not mysql. But MariaDB is more "open" than MySQL, so your point stands.

about three weeks ago
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ACM Blames the PC For Driving Women Away From Computer Science

Spy Handler Re:The problem, as always... (329 comments)

People are different.

Genders are different...

Races are different...

But but... in the USA, everyone is above average and everyone is equally talented. Kumbayah and flower power.

Funny how an entire nation can delude itself into thinking weird thoughts that, to an impartial outsider would seem utter madness. I blame the 60's unicorn liberals who are now firmly in charge (they're in their 50's and 60's now in positions of power).

about three weeks ago

Submissions

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How Russia Should Respond to U.S. Olympic Snub with Snowden

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 9 months ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "In a move that can only be interpreted as a snub against Russia's recent anti-gay laws, U.S. will be sending openly gay athletes as part of its delegation to the upcoming 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia, without President Obama or any other high ranking government official in attendance. Score one point for USA, most of us can agree that such anti-gay laws are unjust with no place in a modern civilized society. However, Russia can score its own point in rebuttal and highlight the log in America's own eye — NSA's global internet surveillance — by inviting Edward Snowden to the opening ceremony. Bonus point for having him light the Olympic torch."
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Verizon Programmer Caught Outsourcing Own Job To China

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Spy Handler writes "In 2012 when Verizon discovered that its corporate systems were being accessed by someone in China, it launched an investigation. Initially thought to be a case of industrial espionage or a malicious hacker, it turns out that one of their own employees had contracted his programming job out to a team in China. The programmer, man in his mid 40's identified only as "Bob", would show up for work, watch cat videos and surf Reddit (among other things), while the contractors in China did the work he was supposedly doing. He paid them one-fifth of the 6-figure salary he was getting from Verizon.

And over the past several years, Bob received excellent performance reviews of his "clean, well written" coding. He had even been noted as "the best developer in the building." However, Bob has been fired after his scheme was discovered."

Link to Original Source
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NASA To Test Bigelow Inflatable Module Aboard ISS

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Spy Handler writes "NASA has announced that it has awarded a $17.8 million contract to Bigelow Aerospace to build an inflatable module for the International Space Station. Details of the project will be announced Wednesday at Bigelow’s headquarters in Las Vegas.

Seems like all the pieces for a privately-built space renaissance are starting to fall into place. When the Falcon Heavy goes operational to provide cheap launches, we could finally have the spaceflight boom that space enthusiasts have been dreaming of."

Link to Original Source
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HP Software Update Cancels Food Stamps

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "A software update of the California welfare computer system (CalWIN) caused 37,000 Food Stamp recipients to lose their EBT (a credit card paid for by the government) benefits last weekend. According to the article, Hewlett Packard was responsible for the failed update of CalWIN, but at 8:00 a.m. today Xerox (who administers another state welfare system called CalFresh) issued a patch that reactivated the EBT cards."
Link to Original Source
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Facebook Test Will Let You Message Strangers for $1

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about a year and a half ago

Spy Handler writes "Facebook is testing a feature that will let select users pay $1 to send messages to people with whom they have no connection on the social network.

The $1 fee will open a thread with a non-Facebook friend. If that person replies to your note, you won't have to pay again to respond to them."

Link to Original Source
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Google Threatened Acer with Banishment from Android

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 2 years ago

Spy Handler writes "In a Microsoft-esque move, Google threatened Acer with banishment from Android if it went ahead with its new cellphone project with Alibaba (China's version of Amazon), using an OS called Aliyun. Acer has remained silent on the issue, but Alibaba reports that they received notification from Google, stating "if the new product launch with Aliyun went ahead, Google would terminate Android product cooperation and related technical authorization with Acer." Possible reason for Google's upset is that the Aliyun OS, which is not Android, can run Android apps as well as its own."
Link to Original Source
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SpaceX Dragon Launch To ISS Set For April 30th

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "NASA announced today a tentative April 30th date for SpaceX launch to the International Space Station on an unmanned cargo mission.

"Everything looks good as we head toward the April 30 launch date," said Bill Gerstenmaier, NASA associate administrator for Human Exploration and Operations.

If successful, SpaceX will become the first private company to launch a space vehicle and dock with the ISS."

Link to Original Source
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Apple and Samsung Rake In 95% of Mobile Phone Profits

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "The race for mobile domination appears to be a two-horse race. According to a new CNET report, Apple took in a whopping 80 percent of all profits in the mobile phone business last quarter — that's counting all cell phones, not just smartphones. Samsung came in second, reaping 15 percent of the profits. Everyone else was left scrambling for crumbs.

Perhaps the release of Windows 8 phones can turn the tide and prevent a Apple-Samsung duopoly from taking place."

Link to Original Source
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Free Hotel Wi-Fi Overwhelmed by iPads

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "According to iBAHN, a firm that provides Wi-Fi and computer services to hotels, free Wi-Fi networks are struggling to cope with the huge increase in traffic since the iPad was released.

"The iPad is the fastest-selling device in consumer electronics history, and because of it the demand placed on any public place Wi-Fi system has gone up exponentially in the last year and a half," said David W. Garrison, chief executive of iBAHN.

Hotels are now facing a tough choice; keep Wi-Fi free and risk angering customers with slow internet, upgrade their internet pipe and charge customers for Wi-Fi (which also might anger customers), or upgrade their internet and eat the costs."

Link to Original Source
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Tearing Down iPhone 4S reveals 512MB RAM

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler writes "ComputerWorld is reporting that tearing down the just-released iPhone 4S reveals an A5 processor and 512MB of RAM.

"How do we know it's 512MB? Check out the marking, specifically 'E4E4,' denoting two 2Gb LPDDR2 die — for a total of 4Gb — or 512MB."

What's baffling to me — since I have yet to drink the Kool-aid and am unfamiliar with Apple hardware — is why did it take disassembling the phone and examining chip markings to deduce the amount of RAM in the system? In Linux and Windows, you type in one command and it tells you. Or simply looking at the box usually shows the processor, RAM and HDD size"

Link to Original Source
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Would You Vote For a Programmer President?

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 2 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "Herman Cain, one of the current front-runners in the race for the Presidency of the U.S., has a master's degree in Computer Science (and a bachelor's degree in Mathmatics). As a Slashdotter, would this fact affect your vote favorably toward him?

Contrast this with your typical politician, most of whom have a law degree and majored in something in liberal arts as an undergraduate. (Mr. Obama was a Political Science major and has a law degree)"
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NASA's Space Launch System: a Critical Analysis

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  about 3 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "Jerry Pournelle has posted a quick analysis of NASA's new Space Launch System (SLS) on his website. His two main criticisms involve:

1. Usage of the Shuttle main engines. "Those were developed to be reusable, and they are expensive because of that. They are in fact magnificent engines and thoroughly reusable if operated at 90-95% of rated capacity; it’s not their fault that they had to be run at 103% and above to fly Shuttle. But they were developed to be reusable, and that adds greatly to their cost."

2. Usage of SRBs. "You don’t want recoverable solid rockets in the first place. The operations are a nightmare, and the design has to be compromised so that the impact on the water does not destroy the thing, and it has to float. All that changes the design and affects performance. There is no good reason ever to recover a solid booster, which is, after all, a big sewer pipe stuffed with guncotton and leached with nitroglycerine....

The only reason we ever came up with any notion as mad as a segmented solid booster was that the SRB had to be made in Utah because of political constraints. If you make a booster that size in Utah it has to be segmented because you can’t ship it by rail or on the highway – the curves are too sharp and the tunnels are not big enough. You would have to make it in Michoud Louisiana and ship it by barge to Canaveral. That is possible but Louisiana isn’t Utah. Apparently the new NASA design is worried about the Utah Senatorial votes to this day."


His widely read 2000 paper titled How To Get To Space provides excellent insights into the X-programs and is well worth reading."

Link to Original Source
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Japan Does Not Face Another Chernobyl

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Spy Handler writes "In spite of the sensationalist stories on the Japan earthquake by U.S. media , which is giving the public an impression of a nuclear holocaust at the power plants and generally spreading anti-nuclear F.U.D., the reality is actually quite different... and not so dire. According to this article — which contains actual info about the reactors involved and how they function — everything worked exactly as the designers intended in a natural disaster scenario such as this, there will be no Chernobyl, and the public is not in danger of developing green skin and turning into the Hulk."
Link to Original Source
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Pickens Plan comes to a wimpering end

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 3 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "In 2008, billionaire T. Boone Pickens unveiled his "Pickens Plan" on national TV, which calls for America to end its dependence on foreign oil by increasing use of wind power and natural gas. Over the next two years, he spent $80 million on TV commercials and $2 billion on General Electric wind turbines. Unfortunately market forces were not favorable to Mr. Pickens, and in December 2010 he announced that he is getting out of the wind power business.

What does he plan to do with his $2 billion worth of idle wind turbines? He is trying to sell them to Canada, because of Canadian law that mandates consumers to buy more renewable electricity regardles of cost."

Link to Original Source
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Americans' Support for Nuclear Power Highest Ever

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "According to a new Gallup poll, 64% of Americans favored nuclear power as a means for generating electricity.

Though a majority of Americans has long supported nuclear power, Gallup said the latest rating is the highest since it began polling on the issue in 1994.

71% of Republicans supported nuclear, while 51% of Democrats did so."

Link to Original Source
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Software Engineer Flies Plane into IRS Building

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 4 years ago

Spy Handler (822350) writes "A software engineer flew his small airplane into an office building in Austin, Texas today. Fortunately none of the 199 IRS employees who work there were killed, even though the crash caused a massive fire that gutted the building.

The pilot, Joseph Stack, was the founder of a small software company that apparently had tax problems with the government, and he posted a disgruntled suicide note on his company webite. (archived version here.)"

Link to Original Source
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Los Angeles City Website Crashed by MJ Memorial

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Spy Handler writes "The City of Los Angeles spent $1.4 million to provide security for Michael Jackson's memorial service on Tuesday, mostly in overtime pay for approximately 3000 police officers. Since the city was already in the midst of a severe budget crisis, it actively sought out donations from MJ fans, by asking them to go to the city's website and sending them money. (there is a prominent link at the top of the home page that says "JACKSON EVENT DONATIONS")

Unfortunately the website simply could not handle the surge in traffic and crashed repeatedly on Tuesday and Wednesday, one of them lasting for 12 hours. As of Wednesday the city has only received $17,000 in donations.

A quick check of the city's website reveals that it is running Sun Java Web Server 6.1"

Link to Original Source
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Nazi Stealth Bomber Built and Tested

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Spy Handler writes "The Horton 229 Flying Wing, one of the more famous "Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe" produced in the latter days of WWII, is noted for its striking similarity to the modern B-2 Stealth Bomber. The question remained, "How effective would it have been against Allied air defenses of the day?". Unfortunately no surviving example existed for testing... until now. Northrop Grumman, on its own time and money, built a replica using the original blueprints and conducted radar tests. The result? Very good for the Nazis, bad for Allied defenses trying to detect it.

National Geographic Channel will be airing a new documentary about this on Sunday July 5th. (Although Nat Geo calls it "Hitler's Stealth Fighter", the size and shape of the aircraft dictates that it wouldn't have been used for anything other than dropping bombs)"

Link to Original Source
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Electrolyzed Water Cleans And Disinfects

Spy Handler Spy Handler writes  |  more than 5 years ago

Spy Handler writes "Los Angeles Times is reporting about electrolyzed water gaining mainstream acceptance in the United States. Many people don't know this, but simply running a current through water mixed with table salt gives you a solution that acts as a germ killer and a degreaser — one that works better than toxic chemicals sold for that purpose (like chlorine bleach) — and it's safe enough to drink! The downside? The electrolyzed solution doesn't last very long so you can't bottle it up and put it on store shelves. And machines that electrolyze water cost about $10,000 each."
Link to Original Source

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